Get Over It: When Sticks and Stones Hurt Less

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“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can wound the very soul”

–Derek Q. Sanders

“Get over It” is one of the most insensitive phrases that can be said to someone who is left hurting from a broken relationship that ended badly. Those three words have healed not one wound that I am aware of.

To utter “Get over It”, is like telling someone you love that their pain is not worth your time to hear. It is necessary to get over it. What would be helpful is to provide an atmosphere where that person can get over it.

Provide an atmosphere where they can feel the love that heals, not a voice that only brings more pain. No one in their right mind wants to live in the hurt of their past or carry it into their future.

There is the present danger that the pain of a failed relationship may set the expectations for the relationship that lies ahead. This must be avoided at all costs. Sometimes, the trauma of lost love causes one to question their worth.

This faulty error in thinking will wreak havoc in future relationships if not challenged. Consider the retooling of an automotive assembly plant. At the end of each year, the plant is shut down in order for the plant to be retooled for the next year’s model of cars.

The new models require changes to be made in the settings to meet the needs of the new designs. Relationships are similar. There is time needed to “retool” after a relationship ends, especially one that ends badly.

There are adjustments that need to be made as we examine ourselves to correct where we need correction and heal where we may need healing. The question is how does one get over it?

Some desperately want to be free, but they don’t know how to be free. Forgiveness is often necessary. Sometimes, it’s necessary to forgive yourself for the guilt you feel for the choice you made in who you allowed in your life.

Forgive yourself for what you accepted in the relationship. Forgive yourself for remaining in the relationship. Lastly, forgive the person that hurt you. Realize that your past does not define you. The past is a record of prior events.

The past represents who you were at a particular period in time. You are only married to the past when you make a vow with your past to remain fully committed to it. You can change whenever you decide.

Change is not always easy, but it’s necessary. Life and love is about growth which is sometimes painful. The past is full of great opportunities to learn and grow as we look back and mine through the headaches, heartaches, disappointments, and the issues of life.

Some that happen due to no fault of our own or a significant other. Life and love will provide many great moments that we never want to leave and other terrible moments that we never want to re-live. Those are the moments where we must learn to “Get over it”.

It’s much easier to get over them in a community of family and friends that provide love and space for us to heal rather than words that suggest that our pain is not worth their hearing. A more loving and beneficial phrase would be “Let me help you get over it”. That’s the show of love that begins a very necessary process of healing.

Love: Beyond Feelings

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“Feelings are like sales prices. They are subject to change without notice.”
-Derek Q. Sanders

‘I love you’ is among the sweetest words that our ears will ever hear, especially when the words are uttered from the lips of someone who we deeply care for.

Those three short words can touch and warm almost any heart in ways that leave us almost without words to adequately describe the impression it leaves in us.

However, in today’s popular culture, I love you has been all but reduced to a mere expression, one that is primarily an emotional reaction.

Those words most often represent the status of one’s ‘feelings’. As such, they are unreliable and unworthy of being considered true love as they reflect only a sentimental response not a deliberate action.

Those words come from an emotional space that describes sentiments toward someone who occupies a special place in our lives. Love is greater than a feeling. Emotions, while useful, are less than love.

Let me be very clear. In no way do I intend to diminish the value of heartfelt emotions. They offer us great value in their proper context.

In fact, it is the engagement of the emotions that adds vivid color to love, but they are not the foundation upon which love rests its head or firmly plants its feet.

In popular culture, we speak of love with the same breathy, heart-palpitating naiveté as when we were first introduced to love at bedtime in the fanciful fairytales that whisked us off to sleep as children.

The white horses, brave princes, and sunsets have only been recast and exchanged for other symbols that lead us no closer to a real understanding of true love that is found just beyond the frailty and instability of our feelings.

Love is decision-based not reactionary. Love transcends impulses which are fueled by the whims of our emotions. Years ago, a man who has become affectionately known to me as ‘Uncle Ron’ said these life-changing words to me, “Love is a behavior.”

Love is what we do. At times, love is what we do even in spite of how we feel. Love is far superior to emotions. Feelings require neither discretion nor requirement for engagement, only time and attention.

Sometimes, they settle for even less than time spent; the desire for time. Love is what one does because he is committed beyond words not because he feels like it. Love does not subject itself to the dictates of our emotions to follow them.

Love leads. Feelings are subordinate. Consider the exchanging of vows as a man and woman enter into the covenant of marriage before God and man. The words that they speak individually, as they enter into covenant, set forth the foundation of love.

Neither offer any promises to serve their feelings, but instead, they vow to maintain a consistent behavior, “in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer.”

Love is only spoken of in terms of a commitment to maintain behavior with no mention of feelings. This is the true measure and representation of love.

When A Woman Loves

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“Love is like a mirror, only it casts a perfect reflection of the ones we love, not our own.”

– Derek Q. Sanders

Love focuses outward on the recipient of its gift, not the giver. In short, “love ain’t about you.” It’s about the one to whom your love is directed. That is the, ever self-less, nature of true love.

Those souls who have truly acquainted themselves with love seek the greater good of their significant other before their own lives. Love is the sweetest sacrifice. Love is strength shown in humility. Love changes its giver and the gifted alike. That’s the power of love.

What’s often missed or overlooked is the necessity of self-love. There is a place for self-love within its proper context. There is a healthy love of self that is not an overindulgent selfishness, but a gratefulness for the gift itself.

A love of self is necessary in order to love another as they should be loved. Before one can give love properly, they must first embrace love. They are then able to give from its abundance.

That love is a reservoir that enables one to love another. Love is the greatest of all gifts. It is as strong as death. It changes lives for the better for all who will embrace it in all its glory.

When A Woman Loves

When a woman loves, she loves for real, as the muse goes. No truer refrain has ever parted two lips in song. It’s in a woman’s very nature to nurture, like a mother to the child she loves dearly.

Her love is as natural as the morning dew that kisses each blade of grass it meets, with a peaceful serenade that brings with it a calming presence at the dawning of the day.

Love flows from her heart like the river to the sea barely able to contain itself as its outpouring floods the heart it fills. Her love gives strength.

An honorable man protects her heart as the self-less giving of love makes her vulnerable. In this perfect space is where true intimacy begins organically.

In the hands of a fool, her precious gift of love is wasted. The emotional damage can follow her for years to come.

Love was never meant to feel like a gamble. Love is the greatest sacrifice. A sacrifice is born of love. A gamble is born of greed.

The Enemy Of Love

The greatest enemy of love is not hate as one would typically think. It’s fear which is much more subtle and unassuming. Fear gains root when love has been rejected or otherwise misused or abused in prior relationships.

Fear places limits on love by robbing us of the very same gift that can heal those wounds. Fear causes us to protect ourselves from its saving grace. Choose carefully who you love, as all are not open to be loved.

You cannot save someone against their will, neither can you love those that choose to reject the love offer. Love is as strong as death, but love never imposes its will upon any of us. That is the nature of death, not the gift of love.

Woman: Object, Subject Distinctions

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“When a man loves a woman, she is not the object of his affections. She is the subject.”

–Derek Q. Sanders

A woman is not an object. She is far too superior. An object is a material thing that can be seen or touched (emphasis on thing).  It is an item, an inanimate fixture devoid of personhood.

A woman should never be reduced to such a lowly status that is only fit for things without life or inherent value. She that produces life itself should never be robbed of that which gives meaning to life.

Sadly, she is. The word object is the root of the word objectify. It is to ignore a woman’s finer attributes for pixels and print images.

The most common images of a woman, in the greater context of popular culture, only favors those parts of her that bring pleasure to the eyes first then, that which gratifies the carnal desires of those that control those images (usually men).

The woman is presented in featured pieces (body parts), stripped of all her natural splendor, reduced to a mere object, an ornament that accentuates something viewed as having  greater value than itself.
An object has no real value apart from the framework in which it is placed for the grand satisfaction of its handlers. Women are routinely dehumanized in the mainstream.

They become descriptions rather than real persons. They are known by the categories they are placed in by words that identify them by degrees of desirability, words like hottie, dimepiece, sexy, and a plethora of other word choices that add flattery to degradation.

Women are used as props to evoke certain emotions that manipulate us into desired  responses. They are the primary objects used to influence purchases of various products from household goods to fast food to vehicles.

There is nothing wrong with the selling of goods and services, just as there is nothing wrong with recognizing a woman’s physical beauty. These things only become an issue when, as common in popular culture, they represent all that is seen to be valuable about a woman.

Her value centers on how she looks and the ability of others to benefit from her appearance in a monetary or sexual way or any other way that is a detriment to her  well-being. She has become an object.

When a woman is the subject not the object, the focus is on who she is as a person.  She is not a fixture that draws attention because of its to appeal to the base nature of men. Instead, she is honored.

She is loved. She is known intimately. Inanimate objects cannot experience the joy of love nor the feeling of true intimacy. Only real people can know and be known at such deeper levels.

To experience true intimacy is to be known beyond the surface level. Intimacy is not a random sex act, nor a superficial indulgence that serves as a means to draw a man and woman together by a carnal act.

Intimacy calls for a woman to be the subject of a man’s deep affection, sacrifice, and commitment. A man and woman can never experience the depths of love without true intimacy. Neither can an object know true love. A woman is truly loved when she is the subject, not an object.

Friends: Love Asexually


“I’m not ready for a serious relationship. I just want to be friends.”

What does it mean for a man and woman to be friends, but not serious? The question, by implication, assumes that friendship is not a serious relationship. Where are the fine lines drawn between friendship, casual dating, and serious dating relationships?

What makes one relationship serious and another casual? Friendship is probably the easiest to distinguish, as it does not involve either dating or sex. Casual dating is said to differ from serious dating, but who knows what that difference is when the lines are unclear?

Sex may be included in both casual and serious dating relationships. Sex remains casual in casual dating relationships and is only considered serious in serious dating relationships, though sex involves the same acts in both relationships. Makes a lot of sense, right?

Maybe friendship is just a more acceptable designation that, at face value, legitimizes a sexual arrangement that is called a friendship. When a person is not emotionally available for serious dating, but doesn’t want to spend all of their free time at home alone or out and about alone, that’s understandable.

A great alternative would be to spend quality time with genuine friends. Most of us already have close friends, male and female. Friendship provides a great space for a man and woman to enjoy great times together without many of the problems that typify dating relationships.

The downside is that while friendship offers a break from many of the stresses of non-platonic relationships, it also excludes some of the benefits that many seek in casual relationships, sex being at the top of the list.

It seems that the best of both worlds is a desired hybrid relationship that gives the benefits of both without the problems or responsibilities of either. It’s like a person who wants a cat that looks and acts like a cat, but barks like a dog. Unfortunately, no such animal exists.

Cats don’t bark, no matter how much a person may want the benefits of both animals in one. The same is true of friendships and serious relationships. It’s the inner workings of the relationship that distinguishes it from the so-called serious relationship.

Genuine friendship between a man and woman should never be reduced to meaninglessness because sex is not a part of the relationship. The inclusion of sex in a relationship only adds value in a context where sex is the consummation of a sacred covenant not a fraudulent substitution that temporarily fills a void that only love can fill, not sex.

Love: A Male Perspective


Years ago, I started my very first blog page entitled, “love from a male perspective.” I had some ideas about love & relationships that I wanted to share that I thought might be relevant/beneficial to the discussion. At the time, I was so insecure and apprehensive about sharing my thoughts publicly that I chose not to use an actual photo of myself to maintain anonymity.

As I wrote, my heart and soul spilled from (virtual) pen and paper on the blank pages of my computer screen, line after line seeping out as I sat there alone clothed only in the nakedness of my transparency. A lot has changed over the course of those six years. Many lessons have been learned and many refresher courses in the school of life, love and relationships have I attended.

One important lesson in particular was found in the very title of my first blog page itself, “love from a male perspective”. Over the years, I have come to understand that love offers no male or female perspectives. Love lives in the realm of truth. Love is not the telling of opposing sides of the same story. There are no two sides to love. Love favors neither males less nor female more.

Love offers its vast bounty to both woman and man to experience and enjoy equally between them. Often, I am called upon by ladies to give a ‘male perspective’ on various relationship scenarios that represent their past, present, and even future interactions with men. Though, I have much to offer to the discussion of love & relationships, that which I offer is not beneficial to women because I offer a male perspective.

If there is any benefit to be gained from anything I or any other male may offer on the subject of love, it is only when that which is offered is found to be true. That which is true is true objectively which transcends gender. Truth requires much more than the mere citing of unexamined or inadequately examined experiences that form the basis for many varied and conflicting perspectives.

A woman will contact me for a ‘male perspective’ on an issue where there is a disagreement between she and her man. If a male perspective was what she wanted, she only needed to hear the voice of the man she was having the disagreement with. If the “male perspective” was desired, why would she consult one male over another?

As well, it would seem that he and I would naturally share the same perspective considering we share the same natural classification as males. I don’t subscribe to the aforementioned. I am only following the premise to its logical conclusion for validity which I find lacking. Though we experience life in separate bodies, we share the experience of love between us.

Male and female perspectives of love are especially useful for division when we tell our side of the story in painful arbitrations. Love in knowledge and experience is beneficial when it draws us together in its truth.

“There are two sides to every story except the story of love. Love has but one side told by two people.” -Derek Q. Sanders

When Men Were Hunters


“Men are hunters”. We all know this, right? It’s an old familiar saying, one that is accepted by most of us. It bolsters a sense of valor in men while at the same times gives women, who have become weary, a reason to be a little more patient while awaiting their “discovery” by the proverbial “hunter”.

When ladies take matters into their own hands, they are gently reminded that “men are hunters” in an effort to quell their anxiety and convince them to wait for the hunt to finally reach their doorsteps. While I agree that women should not take on the role of the pursuer, the notion of men being hunters is problematic.

It renders a true statement, but in a context that does not adequately represent the point its use is intended to make. Some men are hunters is, in fact, a true statement. However, the question to be answered is “what type of man hunts women” and “how is being hunted ever beneficial to any woman”?

There is a segment of men that can be rightfully called hunters. These men are predators that prey on women for their own beneficial interests not those of the women they hunt. Women are “wild game” to be hunted for sport and other means of exploitation. Hunting is never an act of love from the hunter to the hunted.

The endeavor is always in favor of and for the benefit of the hunter. The role of a man is to pursue a woman not to hunt her as though she were an animal or something of less value than himself. A man should pursue a woman like he would pursue his own purpose not like a predator hunts its prey.

The connotations are vastly different and communicate very different ideas. A good man pursues a woman like hidden treasure keenly aware of her great value. With a good man comes “provision” which is a much better word that paints a more accurate picture of a man’s pursuit. Pro-vision literally means to have vision in advance, to see beforehand, foresight.

Hunting is only beneficial to a woman in a context where a man “hunts” as a means of provision not as a show of his sexual/masculine prowess. The object shifts from being the woman to being provision for a woman. Women were never intended to be hunted by the men who they were created to be loved by not even during the time when men were hunters.

Potential: What Dreams May Come


“Potential is an unrealized possibility that may or may not ever be realized”.
-Derek Q. Sanders

Many very well-intentioned and loving women sometimes choose to involve themselves with men who are not the men that they want ‘as is’. Why would any woman choose to enter a relationship with a man who is not yet the man she wants you might ask.

The most recognized reason given is stated in this phrase you have heard or maybe said yourself at one time or another. “He has potential”. At some point in the future, a woman is convinced her guy will become the man she wants and needs him to be.
Until then, she will wait patiently.

Something inside compels her to wait on his change to come. In fact, she believes her love and loyalty will help to facilitate his transformation. There are several concerns here. Each places a woman’s emotional well-being in jeopardy pending a future outcome that may never be more than a utopian fantasy unfulfilled.

An insecure woman will often find herself in this type of relationship where she seeks to ‘save a man’ from himself by attempting to draw out or wait out his potential over time. His ‘salvation’, by her efforts, validates her worthiness of his love. Often the very means she employs to save him work against her.

When a woman gives a man full access to her body as well as her possessions to show her commitment to him and his cause, she may soon find herself supporting a man who is satisfied with the status quo. He has no need to become the man she envisions when the man he is has gained all that her world has to offer him.

There’s a fundamental principle that may have somehow gotten ‘lost in translation’ over the years. It is not any woman’s responsibility to bear the burden of provoking a man to reach his potential. That’s the role of a mother to a son (along with the father). A man’s passion and purpose must be self-directed.

Moreover, when a man pursues a woman he should be prepared for the position he seeks in a woman’s life. If he is not prepared for the role, preparation should be his priority not the pursuit of a woman. It’s akin to a man apartment shopping before he has secured employment to pay the rent.

The leasing agent won’t waste her time with paperwork until he proves his ability to pay the rent. His resume may show that he has ‘potential’, but it won’t get him an apartment on the basis of future speculations. What should also be understood is that potential exists in a place of neutrality.

It favors neither good nor bad, better or worse. Potential is speculative. What is certain is that all people come one way and one way only, ‘as is’. That’s not to suggest that an inadequate man cannot excel beyond his present status sometime in the future. It is to advise that a woman choose a suitor who represents her interests as he is rather than place her fate in the hands of potential that may never come.

“A bird in the hand is better than two perched by a seed that has the potential to become a bush”
-Derek Q. Sanders

The Soul: Ties That Bind


A definition of terminology is always necessary in order to gain a proper understanding and to engage in meaningful coherent dialogue. Otherwise, individual experiences that are unverifiable, as they are largely subjective, become the foundation for discussions that may represent more imagination than truth. Though real, experiences are not suitable to define ideological constructs. Words have objective meaning that speak to us all equally unlike personal experiences that are subject to the individual who had them. Let’s begin.

From my research, the term “soul ties” has little, if any, traceable presence in secular academia which makes perfect sense when it’s considered that the term gained its popularity and mass appeal when famed televangelist, Juanita Bynum, breathed life into those words in a sermon titled ” No More Sheets” which catapulted her into the mainstream several years ago. Therefore, I will approach the subject from a biblical vantage point.

Here is the first mention of the word “soul’ in scripture. Interestingly, it was introduced at the creation of man. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2: 7). The soul was not what gave man relevance. It was the body formed and the breath that God breathed into him, together, that made man a ‘living soul”. Thus, man himself is a soul. “Tie” means to attach, fasten or bind. Therefore, a “soul tie”, by definition, would be to attach, fasten or bind two people together.

The question then becomes, what ties souls together? Initially, soul ties were said to be the result of multiple sex partners from prior relationships. The idea of soul ties provided an explanation for any woman who found herself in a vicious cycle of toxic relationships. Her ‘soul’ was ‘tied’ to every man she had sex with in any prior relationship. Each man deposited his “spirit” in her which remained. The presence and effect of those spirits would wreak havoc in every relationship she entered thereafter. There are many problems with this assertion. For one, there is no biblical reference that suggests that a man’s spirit transfers into a woman during sexual intercourse.

There is no reference of any sexual transferring of spirits for the benefit of those married or to the detriment of those unmarried (fornication).  Fornication, more specifically, is clearly spelled out in scripture as a deed of the flesh not the spirit (Colossians 3:5). If fornication from prior relationships has a residual negative effect on the unmarried, wouldn’t it stand to reason that sex for married couples would yield a residual benefit to the health of marriages? Any marriage in jeopardy would only need to increase the frequency of their sexual activity it would seem, if this proposition were followed to its logical conclusion.

There are other explanations that are not taken into consideration which do not require any violation of scripture or defiance of logic to be credible; factors such as how each failed relationship may have affected a woman, the relationship with her father (There are studies that go into depth on how a woman’s choices in men are directly related to her relationship with her father for better or for worse), the level of her self-worth which may suffer further degradation after each failed relationship, etc. These are only a few real considerations that are left out when soul ties are posited.

Oddly, emotions seem to take a back seat in this conversation if they’re even mentioned at all. The effects of the emotions especially strong ones cannot be overlooked or ruled out. If souls are tied, there would have to be something that ties them together. The emotions should be the primary consideration. Emotional bonds are formed when two people share intimate space even without the inclusion of sexual intercourse. The emotions do not require sex to engage. In fact, emotions require very little other than time with a person one cares for. Relationships, at the least, allow time.

There is no secular or sacred foundation for a belief in the idea of soul ties. The only life breathed into a belief in soul ties lies within the imagination fueled by the very same emotions that make their existence unnecessary.

Love: Battery Not Included


“Love is a many splendored thing”, an old popular song once taught us with its kind words and soft melodies, but there is no such splendor in the abuse suffered by any woman. Neither is there any love to be found in her pain. Abuse is never an act of love. It’s an act carried out by a man out of control.

Abuse is an evil tool used by a troubled man to control a woman. It gives him a feeling of power and sense of control. True power comes from self-control not an abuse of power used to unjustly rule over another person especially when it’s used on the very women that men were intended to protect.

Ladies, “I love you”heard from a man after such egregious acts that blaspheme all that it means to be a man is only an emotional control mechanism that works on a woman whose self-esteem has been compromised and diminished by repeated acts of abuse that have convinced her that she is ‘worth less’ therefore, ‘worthless’.

Self-esteem is difficult to regain once it’s been lost, even more so when it was never fully established in the first place which is too often the case in the lives of young girls now, women. If a father is not there to validate his daughter and secure her worth within herself, she is left vulnerable to the advances of young men who may suffer from ‘male identity crisis’ if they also lacked fathers to teach them the value of a woman or the role of a man.

The father is the most important man in the life of a young girl. He validates her. The father is the most important man in the life of a young boy. He teaches a son what it means to be a man and provides a living example of how a man should care for a woman by how he cares for his wife. When a father fails to model these behaviors in the presence of a son or daughter, there are catastrophic results that greatly affect the relationships between the men and women they later become.

Abuse is not always a physical act. Verbal abuse extends far beyond the reach of the body’s extremities to do harm mentally and emotionally. Mistakenly, the scars that can be seen outwardly are the ones most often given recognition while those that remain unseen go unnoticed. Many women carry “unmarked wounds” from harsh, demeaning and damaging words that reach to the depths of their souls.

“Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can break the spirit within”. Words can be more devastating than physical pain. Abuse of any sort is unacceptable and should not be ignored or excused. It is reported that young women face the highest rates of dating violence and sexual assault.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of dating violence, please reach out for help.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE

The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 866-331-9474

The National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-4673.

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